Building Internet Skills and Knowledge
Yerveu, age 19, easily and safely uses the internet in her daily life. She believes that life would be easier for everyone if we could learn to look for accurate information and develop our life skills without limit. When she heard that ChildFund Laos’ Ready for Life Project would be coming to her village in Nonghet District, she did not hesitate to ask to participate. When the opportunity to participate in the Online Safety for Youth activities was offered to her, she took it. She said,
“This activity has helped me learn about how to use the internet in a way that is safer and more useful to me.”
The Online Safety for Youth activities help improve young people’s ability to learn by using online resources, facilitates their building of extensive online social networks, helps participating youth learn to address the issues that are important to them, teaches them to use the internet safely, and builds youth’s ability to participate in initiatives to improve their communities.
Their time participating in this activity has allowed participants to open up a new world and search for new knowledge outside of school in order to improve their life skills. The project officer spoke of the changes among the involved youth, saying, “Since having the Online Safety for Youth activity come to Nonghet District, I’ve noticed that the participating youth know how to easily search for all kinds of information online and that they are more careful about how they use social media.”
The topics for the trainings in the Online Safety for Youth activity have helped fulfill Yerveu’s wish to learn more about using the internet. As she said, “I want to learn new things and want to feel safe on social media, and this project has taught me about creating online accounts with secure privacy settings. In the past, there were so many people who would comment on my pictures, and it made me feel like I didn’t have any privacy. In addition, this project has also helped me improve my dancing and my creativity because I learned about how to search for dance lessons on YouTube. Because of these lessons, I’ve been able to teach my friends what I’ve learned, and have been able to show off my dancing skills at school functions. Learning to use YouTube has even taught me how to put on makeup better!”
The things they have learned from the Online Safety for Youth activity have taught the project participants to build online accounts by themselves, to interact with others on the internet, and to be respectful of other people online. Additionally, it has given them the opportunity to be able to learn many new things according to their own likes and interests by using the internet.
If knowledge is not shared, it cannot be at its most useful. That is the reason that Yerveu is trying to pass on the knowledge she has learned through the Online Safety for Youth activities to her friends and the people in her community. She said, “Being able to use the internet is very important. It can help us to learn and to gain new skills. But if we don’t use it carefully and don’t pay proper attention to safety, it can have negative consequences. When we share our opinions on social media it’s also very important for us to be careful. We should consider what we are writing beforehand every time we post or comment, because after we’ve put something online, people across the world can see it and learn about us. For that reason, this is something I always make sure to teach my friends and my community about.”